Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the first deployment of SUNY and CUNY students, as well as labor volunteers, as part of the summer-long NY Stands with Puerto Rico Recovery and Rebuilding Initiative. On June 17th, approximately 100 SUNY and CUNY students and nearly 20 skilled labor volunteers will deploy to Puerto Rico.
This initial deployment of volunteers will embed with the non-profit rebuilding organizations All Hands and Hearts, Heart 9/11, and NECHAMA, cleaning, restoring, and rebuilding homes. Students will deploy to 2-weeks and earn college credits. UNICEF USA has committed $500,000 to support this effort.
"The federal response—or lack thereof—in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria left millions of American citizens in the dark, without access to basic necessities, and put countless lives in danger," Governor Cuomo said. "As we have recently learned, the death toll attributable to Hurricane Maria is as high as 70 times more than the federal estimate, irrefutably proving that the federal government prioritizes the lives of certain Americans over others. In the face of this federal inaction, New York is proud to work with non-profits filling the void in Puerto Rico to rebuild the homes and lives of our brothers and sisters on the island."